Coming from the makers of Insidious and Sinister(both of which had a lot to offer in terms of material and spook), Dark Skies is a refreshing take on the whole concept alien abductions. What works wonderfully well for the film is the utter lack of any jump out of your seat spook moments and an almost total absence of any creature violence. It is one of those movies which gets to you primarily because of its effective drama and not so much because of its cheap thrills. The film starts off nice and slow and keeps growing on you. You see an almost dysfunctional Barret family which is almost on the brink of falling apart. For the initial half an hour or so our concern is the Barret family and not so much their happenings in their house. But soon Things start getting out of control. Bizarre happening in the house and under inexplicable circumstances leads to some serious questions being raised.
While Mr. Barret is hell bent on discovering the reasons behind the strange happenings, Mrs Barret feels an alien hand in the menace. With the situation getting worse and kids of the family being branded and hurt repeatedly, the parents are forced to take the counsel of a man named Edwin Pollard(J.K. Simmons) who effectively explains the grave dangers that the Barret family is in. Now with the newly found knowledge about the extreme danger lurking around every corner, the Barret family has just one hope of surviving this grave danger. which comes in the shape of their own solidarity as a family.
Like a champion horror film, Dark Skies grabs your attention from the very first scene and is able to latch on to you for the remainder of its runtime. The characters are very real and their fears justified properly. they react to the situations in a way we would and thats exactly what gets us thick in the middle of the action. Their are spook moments aplenty but they are not the cheap thrills that we have come to expect from the horror movies. The thrills are very real and effective and they are almost every time a result of emotional upsurges which makes it even more viable.
The performence by the ensemble cast is wonderful. the four major characters do complete justice to their roles and contribute to making the screenplay work big time. Josh Hamilton as the father starts off as confused and disillusioned by a sudden cut off and his inability to find himself a job. But as he lands up with a job and its time to celebrate, his world starts crumbling right in-front of his eyes. Hamilton thoughtfully and effectively portrays the disgust and angst of a father who is trying to hold hid family together but isn’t being able to do so. Keri Russell as the mother is effective and she matches Josh scene for scene. the two child artists Dakota Goyo and Kadan Rockett are the heart and soul of the film. had it not been for their honest performence, Dark Skies would have been a much lesser achievement. J.K. Simmons in a brief appearance is effective.
The setting and the background score along with the superb cinematography compounds the effects of a well done story. The editing is edgy and yet somehow manages to offer enough to keep you contended. Dark Skies borders on the line between Science fiction and Horror. while primarily it may sighted as Sci-Fi but when human lives are threatened, the matter does become horrific so it may be called a horror film too in that regard. It is in a way one of the two good horror films to have come out this year, the other being Mama. Watch this one for the great content and even better execution.